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In the garden: Next year's front garden (an aerial view)

Typically, one waits for seed catalogs in January before thinking about this stuff. But since I might have to order some trees from FedCo for spring.....

Obviously, this is very, very crude and doesn't have the careful division into zones and vistas of previous plans, but that can come later. (All that planning led to what I consider a massive success for the front garden this, or rather, last season; lots of pollinators, lots of flowers, and two -- or was it three? -- people I'd never met actually stopping especially to photograph it, despite, as you can see, its very small size.(

Here is a sketch of the water feature:

The water feature

The fountain is in the middle. It's stacked up flat stones with a tank buried underneath. When the pump is plugged in (sigh; no solar) water comes up from the tank, trickles down over the stones, and returns to the tank (which has a screen over it to prevent leaves and such from getting into it).

The fountain is surrounded by pieces of flat stone (maybe sunk in the earth, maybe sunk into stone dust).

The entire area has stakes planted in the ground, with flowering vines, like morning glories or trumpet flowers, growing up the stakes, and with open space between the stakes.

The goals are:

1) A musical sound and a pretty sight, from the movement of the water;

2) Attracting pollinators, especially bees, and beneficial insects, like dragon- and damsel flies. They can drink from the water and perch or sun themselves on the rocks of the fountain and the surrounding flat stones.

3) Attracting birds. I understand from Nippersdad that birds don't like to land in a crowded space, because predators can hide there. So the area of flat stones should make them feel safe. Also, birds can perch on the stakes.

The hugel bed

I'm not sure why I'm putting a hugel bed there, except that the site seems to be calling out to me that it wants a hugel patch there. I have one in the main garden where some tomatoes did very well. I'm not sure what vegetables to put in this patch, but doubtless I will figure something out. There's one example here of canteloupes. That might be fun. Oh, and I have a ton -- well, maybe a wheelbarrow or two full -- of wood that wants to rot, from the dregs of my firewood delivery.

The tomato patch

I want to rotate the squash out, and rotate tomatoes in. They will do very well in the sun. Also, I tend to grow too many tomatoes, because I really like to eat them only when the store has fresh mozarella, and often they don't order enough! A smaller patch will force me to grow less. And a patch more in my zone 0, that I walk past all the time, will encourage me to eat more.

The damn tree

It's the wrong kind of oak, with pointy leaves. I've got to do something about it....


A humongous, rip-roaring success in every dimension: Photogenic, pollinator-friendly, cycles through the whole season, pedestrians loved them. So I'm going to plant many more, all along the sidewalk, not just in one patch. Yah!

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nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I seem to remember that someone pointed out that there is a fungus which attacks the roots of red oaks on the west coast...but red oaks are native to the east coast; there are billions of them here. By the time a potential problem with them became an issue here none of us would still be around to witness it.

There is a lot to be said for not looking for problems where none presently exist. White oaks, the ones with lobes, are just as likely to develop a problem in the long term as anything else. In the meantime, why get rid of something that wants to grow there?

I love white oaks, don't get me wrong, but I personally could not wait forty years for the shade it would eventually produce......

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I wish we had a basement, but, sitting on a pile of rocks as we are, it is nice that we can snuggle fairly large trees up near the house without the worry of foundation problems. It is simply unbelievable how much it has reduced our power bills.

What would be really cool would be an earth sheltered house that one could plant trees ON. Some day, when I win the lottery.....